Massage and beauty schools, online universities and other for-profit colleges in Georgia and across the nation are cashing in on federal stimulus spending, collecting $2.2 billion in tuition grants for low-income students, public records show.
That represents nearly a quarter of the stimulus money spent on these grants to date.
The taxpayer-funded grants are flowing to profit-making schools as the government is seeking to revise how those schools qualify for federal aid, partly because of concerns over how some saddle their students with substantial debt. The effort follows a federal report that cited abuses in the recruiting practices of some of the schools.
Georgia’s public colleges, meanwhile, are grappling with deep state budget cuts that are expected to increase tuition costs and class sizes. Some state officials would like to see more stimulus money come to those schools.